Red Flags And Possible Risks That Pregnant Women Should Not Ignore

Dengue is a mosquito-borne disease caused by members of the family of Flaviviridae, Genus Flavivirus. Humans can become infected after an infected female Aedes Aegypti mosquito takes a blood meal and gives entry for the virus into the human bloodstream. These mosquitos usually bite in the daytime and are capable of taking several blood meals in a single breeding cycle, hence may end up infecting multiple individuals. A pregnant woman can also acquire this infection through the same route and the virus can be passed to her child during pregnancy or around the time of childbirth.Also Read – Follow These Home Remedies and Yoga Asanas to Cure Dengue

SYMPTOMS

The most prominent symptoms are quite similar to any non-pregnant lady with dengue. They may vary from high-grade fever with body ache, myalgia, joint pains, pain behind the eyes, headache, etc. Patients may also experience vomiting, nausea, sore throat, rash and skin usually flushed. Also Read – Alert: 7,128 Cases Of Dengue In Delhi So Far In 2021; 1,851 In Last Week Alone. Details Here

Most of the patients settle down and do not progress to complications, but a small proportion of patients may land up with complicated severe dengue manifestations. Those who develop significant fluid collection or bleeding manifestation, or multiple organ involvement are categorized as in the critical phase of dengue. During this phase, there is a likelihood that they develop more complications, so, it is essential to recognize the warning signs at this point. They may also have low blood pressure, liver dysfunction, bleeding from various sites, and brain involvement. Also Read – Dengue Outbreak: Dengue Cases Rise In Children At An Alarming Rate, Know Reasons And Precautionary Measures Here | Watch Video

Some patients have cold extremities and may present in a confused state of mind with irrelevant speech, increased lethargy, persistent vomiting, and pain abdomen. Although the dengue virus can be transmitted to the baby while pregnant or during childbirth, it may not lead to adverse fetal outcomes. Some studies suggest that it rarely leads to low birth weight and pre-term birth of the child if the mother is found to be infected with dengue during birth.

WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME TO APPROACH A DOCTOR?

The infected pregnant women must seek medical advice if detected positive for dengue. If diagnosed late at a critical phase, it may lead to an impact on the pregnancy and fetal outcomes. Identifying the virus at the earliest and seeking timely medical help can prevent all the adverse outcomes and keep the child and mother safe.

TREATMENT

Treatment and outcomes also remain similar to non-pregnant women. Few features of dengue may overlap clinical or laboratory features of better-recognized conditions in pregnancy leading to delayed diagnosis. And as they say, prevention is better than cure, therefore preventing mosquito bites by wearing full-sleeved clothes, using mosquito repellent, and preventing mosquito breeding remains the backbone of disease prevention.

Pregnant women who are diagnosed with dengue must seek medical advice without further delay.

(With inputs from Dr. Neha Mishra, Consultant – Infectious Diseases, Manipal Hospital Old Airport Road)